ANC big names vie for premiers’ posts

2014-05-18 15:00

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The ANC’s leadership will meet over the next two days to choose premiers for the eight provinces that the governing party controls.

The tough balancing act will be to ensure gender parity. Existing provincial chairpersons are more likely to become premiers and in all eight provinces these are men.

Chairpersons tend to be favoured premier candidates because the party does not want to split the power between the legislatures and the provincial executive committees (PECs).

The PECs met in various provinces this week to propose names to the top six leadership of the ANC, which will recommend names to the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

Gauteng poses an interesting dilemma because it is not certain that either of the preferred candidates?–?David Makhura and Barbara Creecy?–?will make the final cut.

Although the incumbent, Nomvula Mokonyane, has expressed a desire for a second term, the odds are against her because the provincial ANC does not approve of her.

However, there are a few suggestions that the 10% dip in the ANC’s support in Gauteng strengthens President Jacob Zuma’s hand to ignore the two nominees and hand Mokonyane another term in office.

A PEC member said the ANC could not afford to ignore that 2.5?million of its voters had come from Gauteng.

This contributed enormously to the 62% that the party garnered nationally, said the member.

The province is also due for its elective conference in July or August. Incumbent chairperson Paul Mashatile is not facing a formidable challenge, despite suggestions that an East Rand faction is spearheading a bid to topple him.

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza stands a good chance of getting a second term in office after the ANC put him on top of its list of three preferred candidates for the premiership.

The PEC decided on Friday to submit the names of Mabuza, Vusi Shongwe (safety and security MEC), Gert Sibande (regional chairperson) and a female candidate, Violet Siwela (agriculture MEC and provincial ANC deputy secretary), in that order to Luthuli House.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa said the feeling in the PEC was that Mabuza should continue as premier.

The province has not had a premier who has served two terms. It has not had a woman at the helm either.

Mabuza’s name comes as a disappointment to a group in the PEC and the provincial SA Communist Party which do not want him as chairperson and premier.

A member of this group, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is no debate about the suggested names.

Free State strongman Ace Magashule is tipped for another term despite the slight dip in electoral support for the ANC in his province.

It is not clear who else has been nominated by the PEC.

The Eastern Cape has made it clear that it wants its chairperson, Phumulo Masualle, to be premier.

After initially submitting only his name, the top five leaders of the province were asked by Luthuli House to supply two more names. A source in the provincial ANC said the names of party spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane and human settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August are likely to be added.

The Eastern Cape has had two female premiers, Nosimo Balindlela and Noxolo Kiviet, and is tipped to have Masualle as its next premier. But Qoboshiyane could be the dark horse in the race.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu is likely to make a comeback because he has served for only a short period.

But Nomusa Dube could stand a chance, since the ANC’s stronghold has not had a female premier.

ANC Women’s League secretary-general Sisisi Tolashe would not say if the league expects gender parity this time, but said that the ANC leadership should be afforded the space to choose its premiers.

Limpopo ANC chairperson Stan Mathabatha is set to retain his position as the premier. If someone else is appointed, this could lead to further divisions in the province where the ANC is still striving to root out factionalism.

Mathabatha was called back from Ukraine, where he was the SA ambassador, to head Limpopo after former premier Cassel Mathale was forced to resign at a time when the province was on the brink of collapse amid widespread corruption.

He was seen to be a neutral person whose appointment was expected to suppress any further problems.

In the Northern Cape Kenny Mmoiemang, the deputy chairperson of the ANC, was chosen by the province as its preferred premier candidate on the list submitted to Luthuli House.

Second on the list is Sylvia Lucas, who has been premier for the past two years.

Third on the list is Griezelda Cjiekella, who is the provincial ANC Women’s League chairperson. Mmoiemang could lose out if the ANC opts for a woman premier in the province.

The ANC in the North West would prefer to see its chairperson, Supra Mahumapelo, replace Thandi Modise as premier.

It did, however, also send the names of two former women MPs?–?Susan Tsebe, who was elected ANC treasurer in the province last year, and Wendy Nelson.

There is also talk that Modise might be retained for the sake of continuity. Unlike Mahumapelo, she has not been a supporter of President Jacob Zuma. The provincial ANC also said she had not been doing a good job as several provincial departments had underperformed.

Potential premiers

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